According to the California Vehicle Code, below are several laws affecting both drivers and pedestrians. Among other considerations, a pedestrian accident lawyer will consider the following laws when determining who is at fault:
- A driver must always yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is crossing a roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
- A driver must never stop within a crosswalk, as this forces a pedestrian to walk around that vehicle, which can be very dangerous.
- A pedestrian is never allowed to jaywalk. If a driver is involved in a collision because he or she was trying to avoid hitting a jaywalker, the jaywalking pedestrian would be held liable.
- A driver must never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. The stopped driver could be waiting for a pedestrian to cross safely.
- A driver can drive on a sidewalk only when entering or exiting a garage or alleyway. However, that driver must still yield to a pedestrian when doing so.
Anytime a driver fails to follow the right of way and causes a pedestrian accident, he or she may be held liable. In large part, left hand turn pedestrian accidents are so common because many drivers do not abide by safe driving laws. In the state of California, a driver must “begin signaling about 100 feet before making a left turn.” Drivers must also “look over their left shoulder, reduce their speed, stop behind the limit line, look left, then right, then left again.” Furthermore, they shouldn’t “cut the corner” of the oncoming lane.
The above mentioned regulations are all crucial because they serve to let pedestrians know that a driver is planning on making a left hand turn. As mentioned, all drivers are responsible for looking out for any pedestrians in an intersection. On the other hand, a pedestrian has a duty of care as well.
Therefore, it is entirely possible for a pedestrian to share some degree of liability as well. For example, if a pedestrian was intoxicated or looking down at their phone when the accident took place, he or she may share some level of responsibility for causing a pedestrian accident.
California is a comparative liability state, which means that liability -- and any resulting damages -- will be based on an individual’s degree of fault. This means that an aggrieved pedestrian may still qualify for some damages even if he or she is found partially liable for causing a pedestrian accident.